Monday, 15 January 2018

On The Mat Day 937: Takedown Bi-Monthly Lesson (Single Leg Takedown)

I trained twice yesterday and am really feeling it today. I drilled in the morning, went to get some breakfast at a local coffee shop then returned to the dojo to take Tani-sensei's takedown lesson. He is a decorated wrestler and judoka and black belt in BJJ. I think it's been about a year since he moved to our club from the Barbosa Handa club.

Although I exclusively play guard I have always loved takedown and understand the need to know them so I can use them in the future or in turn teach them to somebody else. The focus of the lesson was on the single leg takedown from kenkayotsu (ケンカ四つ)or same side leg forward. We started with the basics of breakfalling, that is rolling into a breakfall, back, side and front. After everyone's hands were stinging from slapping into the cold mat Tani-sensei moved on to the single leg.

His explanations were long but full of knowledge of what to do and what not to do during a takedown. You can tell he is talking from experience. He showed the single leg entry, a standard pivoting takedown, counter to when they pull their leg away and bring it to the front and a counter for when they turn their back to you.

Notes I have in my head concerning advice for single leg takedown are as follows:

1. Never have 2 knees on the ground. You will get squashed. Always have at least one foot standing so you can drive.

2. You toes of your entry foot must be behind the heel of the opponent's leading foot after you have stepped into the tackle.

3. Don't keep pushing into the opponent once the leg is held because they will just hop around. Pull them into you and move back then pivot to take down.

4. Having their leg between your leg is good but having their leg in front of your chest area so you are approaching their back is more offensive and has more variety in what you can do to them.

We ended the drills with specific drill sparring. During 1 minute rounds, 1 person held the leg and had to take down while the other had to think about escaping. You had to keep trying for a full minute and resetting. The next minute was the other person's turn then we changed partners. I think it lasted for about 6 rounds in which we changed with different partners and it was exhausting.

I have to say that I was beat after doing the wrestling drills and then sparring until the end of class. I have a lot of respect for wrestlers and judoka. They grind away at these hard drills until they get really good. Since first starting BJJ, I always wanted to study takedowns like this. I fear though it may be too late to get out of bad habits and injuries might hold me back. I will try to put these into what I do when sparring though and look forward to the next lesson on the 21st of this month.

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